Pristiq lawsuit attorneys note that lawsuits have been filed against drug maker Pfizer alleging severe side effects, including birth defects, suicidal tendencies, and extreme withdrawal complications caused by the antidepressant medication. More Pristiq lawsuits are expected as patients experience injuries after taking the drug, bad drug attorneys note.
If you or a loved one took Pristiq and suffered serious side effects, contact Attorney Group for more information. We offer free, no obligation consultations. We can answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we connect you with an affiliated Pristiq lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
What is Pristiq?
Pristiq is an antidepressant in a group of drugs called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). It works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural substances (serotonin and norepinephrine) in the brain. Pristiq is used to treat major depressive disorder as well as to relieve nerve pain, anxiety, and panic attacks. It may also be used to treat hot flashes that occur with menopause.
Manufactured by Pfizer, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Pristiq in 2008 for the treatment of depression.
Pristiq Suicide Risks
In 2004, the FDA required all antidepressant manufacturers to add a black box to the label warning about an increased risk of suicidal tendencies in children and teenagers who take antidepressants. Later, in 2007, the FDA expanded the scope of its warning to include young adults up to the age of 24. Even though Pfizer began manufacturing Pristiq after these warnings were initially issued, the FDA warnings still apply to Pristiq.
Pristiq And Birth Defects
Pristiq lawsuits have been filed alleging that the drug caused serious and fatal birth defects. The Canadian Medical Association Journal published a study in 2010 on venlafaxine, the active ingredient in Pristiq. The study suggested that the risk of miscarriage was double in women who took the drug during pregnancy. Pristiq birth defects include:
- Craniosynostosis, which causes abnormal skull and brain growth
- Physical defects such as cleft lip and palate
- Respiratory distress
- Omphalocele (an abdominal defect that causes organs to protrude from the navel)
- Heart defects and malformations
- Anencephaly (the absence of parts of the brain and skull)
- Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn
The FDA warns pregnant women to weigh the risks and benefits of taking certain medications when they are pregnant. To convey this warning, a letter grade is assigned to prescription medications to denote their safety for use during pregnancy. Pristiq has been given a grade C. Drugs with this warning have been proven to harm laboratory animal babies when they are taken in high doses by the mother during pregnancy. SSRIs and SNRIs cannot be tested on human babies for ethical reasons, but birth defects have been noted in babies whose mothers took the antidepressants.
Pristiq Discontinuation Syndrome
Patients who have taken Pristiq have experienced severe withdrawal symptoms after discontinuing use, including mood swings, neurological problems, visual disturbances and electric shock sensations. Patients describe these shocks as excruciating headaches that occur alongside bouts of nausea and dizziness. Some are so severe that patients cannot function properly. The FDA calls these symptoms Pristiq discontinuation syndrome.
Injured Patients May Be Entitled to Compensation
Drug makers have a duty to provide safe drugs. If there are risks of harm associated with their drugs, they also must provide adequate warnings. If a drug maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.
Patients who are injured by Pristiq may be entitled to compensation for damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
- Loss of income or ability to work
If a patient dies from complications after taking Pristiq, family members may be entitled to compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one, including:
- Conscious pain and suffering of a loved one prior to death
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish from the loss of a loved one
- Funeral expenses
Patients who have suffered severe side effects after taking Pristiq, as well as the families of those who have died as a result of complications with the drug, are encouraged to seek the advice of a Pristiq lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
If you or a loved one suffered severe side effects after taking Pristiq, contact Attorney Group for more information. When you contact us, an attorney will follow up with you to speak with you about your case or answer questions that you might have. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us, and any information you provide will be kept confidential.
Please note that the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim or file a lawsuit for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.